Child and Pet Safe Houseplants

Jun 3, 2008Updated 7 months ago

If you live with small children or pets and want to keep attractive but safe houseplants, the following list of safe and easy care plants should be just right for you. Houseplants enhance your indoor environment, and with some caution you don't have to give up keeping indoor plants because you have young children or curious pets.

Family Friendly Houseplants - Houseplants Safe for Children and Pets

African Violet (Saintpaulia ionantha)

A good bloomer with many leaf shapes and flower colors, African violets are hugely popular, and can be easy to grow. Give them moderate light to stimulate blooming, and keep their roots from sitting in water.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)The spider plant has a nice cascading shape that shows well in a tall stand or hanging basket. Its constellation of runners and baby plants makes an impressive display that can be a real show stopper.

Wandering Jew (Zebrina pendula)Wandering jew is a fast grower that likes bright light. Its colorful long stems make it a fine candidate for a hanging basket, and its vivid coloration can really brighten up a room. If your plant starts to look straggly as it ages, give it a haircut.

Peperomias (multiple varieties)

A good choice for low to moderate light, peperomias are lush, dense plants that make effective tabletop displays. If you appreciate full plants with good texture, peperomias are for you.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera species)

Another flowering species, Christmas or Thanksgiving cactus is a succulent that is also available in a variety of flower colors from magenta to bright orange. This light loving plant is easy to keep, and tolerates spotty watering.

You can also try keeping herbs indoors, like oregano, catnip, peppermint, and basil. With the exception of catnip, most animals steer clear of plants that have strong flavors, so herbs are typically safe from pet predation.

Use Common Sense When Dealing With Indoor Plants

Although these plants are free of known toxins, eating decorative plants is never a safe practice. Unexpected allergic reactions to plants are always a possibility, and plants may also harbor insects, fertilizers, and pesticides that can be dangerous, even when the plant itself is safe. There is also a possibility that exotic or unusual pets may react to plants in unexpected ways.

To be doubly sure that you family is safe, purchase non- toxic plants and keep them out of reach of fingers, beaks, paws, and claws.